This case concerns the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 2680, which carves out certain exceptions to the United States' waiver of sovereign immunity for torts committed by federal employees. Section 2680(c) provides that the waiver of sovereign immunity does not apply to claims arising from the detention of property by "any officer of customs or excise or any other law enforcement officer." Petitioner contends that this clause applies only to law enforcement officers enforcing customs or excise laws, and thus does not affect the waiver of sovereign immunity for his property claim against officers of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). We conclude that the broad phrase "any other law enforcement officer" covers all law enforcement officers. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals upholding the dismissal of petitioner's claim.

READ MORE


(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2012 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ET AL. v. ALLIANCE FOR OPEN SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL, INC., ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED […]

READ MORE


In 2001, Congress created the Transportation SecurityAdministration (TSA) to assess and manage threats againstair travel. Aviation and Transportation Security Act(ATSA), 49 U. S. C. §44901 et seq. To ensure that theTSA would be informed of potential threats, Congress gaveairlines and their employees immunity against civil liabil-ity for reporting suspicious behavior. §44941(a). But thisimmunity does not attach to “any disclosure made withactual knowledge that the disclosure was false, inaccurate,or misleading” or “any disclosure made with recklessdisregard as to the truth or falsity of that disclosure.”§44941(b).

READ MORE


For the past 20 years, the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church has picketed military funerals to communicate its belief that God hates the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality, particularly in America’s military. The church’s picketing has also condemned the Catholic Church for scandals involving its clergy. Fred Phelps, who founded the church, and six Westboro Baptist parishioners (all relatives of Phelps) traveled to Maryland to picket the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq in the line of duty. The picketing took place on public land approximately 1,000 feet from the church where the funeral was held, in accordance with guidance from local law enforcement officers. The picketers peacefully displayed their signs—stating, e.g., “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Fags Doom Nations,” “America is Doomed,” “Priests Rape Boys,” and “You’re Going to Hell”—for about 30 minutes before the funeral began. Matthew Snyder’s father (Snyder), petitioner here, saw the tops of the picketers’ signs when driving to the funeral, but did not learn what was written on the signs until watching a news broadcast later that night. Snyder filed a diversity action against Phelps, his daughters—who participated in the picketing—and the church (collectively Westboro) alleging, as relevant here, state tort claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, and civil conspiracy. A jury held Westboro liable for millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. Westboro challenged the verdict as grossly excessive and sought judgment as a matter of law on the ground that the First Amendment fully protected its speech. The District Court reduced the punitive damages award, but left the verdict otherwise intact. The Fourth Circuit reversed, concluding that Westboro’s statements were entitled to First Amendment protection because those statements were on matters of public concern, were not provably false, and were expressed solely through hyperbolic rhetoric.

READ MORE


Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012) 1 Per Curiam SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MONTANA No. 11–1179. Decided June 25, 2012 PER CURIAM. A Montana state law provides that a “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candi- date or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13– 35–227(1) (2011). The Montana […]

READ MORE


(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2010 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus ARIZONA FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB’S FREEDOM CLUB PAC ET AL. v. BENNETT, SECRETARY OF STATE OF ARIZONA, ET AL. CERTIORARI […]

READ MORE


(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2008 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus YSURSA, SECRETARY OF STATE OF IDAHO, ET AL. v. POCATELLO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES […]

READ MORE


After petitioner borough fired respondent Guarnieri as its police chief, he filed a union grievance that led to his reinstatement. When the borough council later issued directives instructing Guarnieri how to perform his duties, he filed a second grievance, and an arbitrator ordered that some of the directives be modified or withdrawn. Guarnieri then filed this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the directives were issued in retaliation for the filing of his first grievance, thereby violating his First Amendment “right . . . to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”; he later amended his complaint to allege that the council also violated the Petition Clause by denying his request for overtime pay in retaliation for his having filed the § 1983 suit. The District Court instructed the jury, inter alia, that the suit and the grievances were constitutionally protected activity, and the jury found for Guarnieri. Affirming the compensatory damages award, the Third Circuit held that a public employee who has petitioned the government through a formal mechanism such as the filing of a lawsuit or grievance is protected under the Petition Clause from retaliation for that activity, even if the petition concerns a matter of solely private concern. In so ruling, the court rejected the view of every other Circuit to have considered the issue that, to be protected, the petition must address a matter of public concern.

READ MORE


The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) prohibits the “Government [from] substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless the Government “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” 42 U. S. C. §§2000bb–1(a), (b). As amended by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), RFRA covers “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” §2000cc–5(7)(A). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), which, as relevant here, requires specified employers’ group health plans to furnish “preventive care and screenings” for women without “any cost sharing requirements,” 42 U. S. C. §300gg–13(a)(4). Congress did not specify what types of preventive care must be covered; it authorized the Health Resources and Services Administration, a component of HHS, to decide. Nonexempt employers are generally required to provide coverage for the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including the 4 that may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus. Religious employers, such as churches, are exempt from this contraceptive mandate. HHS also effectively exempted religious nonprofit organizations with religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services. Under this accommodation, the insurance issuer must exclude contraceptive coverage from the employer’s plan and provide plan participants with separate payments for contraceptive services without imposing any cost-sharing requirements on the employer, its insurance plan, or its employee beneficiaries. In these cases, the owners of three closely held for-profit corporations have sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point. In separate actions, they sued HHS and other federal officials and agencies (collectively HHS) under RFRA and the Free Exercise Clause, seeking to enjoin application of the contraceptive mandate insofar as it requires them to provide health coverage for the four objectionable contraceptives.

READ MORE


A California statute known as “Assembly Bill 1889” (AB 1889) prohibits several classes of employers that receive state funds from using the funds “to assist, promote, or deter union organizing.” See Cal. Govt. Code Ann.

READ MORE


Respondent Hastings College of the Law (Hastings), a school within the University of California public-school system, denied “Registered Student Organization” (RSO) status to its chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS). Several benefits attend this school-approved status, including the use of school funds, facilities, and channels of communication, as well as Hastings’ name and logo. RSOs must abide by certain conditions, including the school’s Nondiscrimination Policy. Hastings interpreted its policy as to mandate acceptance of all comers: RSOs must allow any student to participate, become a member, or seek leadership positions, regardless of her status or beliefs. CLS, on the other hand, interpreted its bylaws to exclude from affiliation anyone who engages in “unrepentant homosexual conduct” or holds religious convictions different from those in the Statement of Faith. Hastings rejected CLS’s application for RSO status on the ground that the group’s bylaws did not comply with Hastings’ open-access policy because they excluded students based on religion and sexual orientation. CLS filed this suit for injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U. S. C. §1983, alleging that Hastings’ refusal to grant the group RSO status violated its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free speech, expressive association, and free exercise of religion.

READ MORE


The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), prohibited corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that is an “electioneering communication” or for speech that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate. 2 U. S. C. §441b. An electioneering communication is “any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication” that “refers to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office” and is made within 30 days of a primary election, §434(f)(3)(A), and that is “publicly distributed,” 11 CFR §100.29(a)(2), which in “the case of a candidate for nomination for President … means” that the communication “[c]an be received by 50,000 or more persons in a State where a primary election … is being held within 30 days,” §100.29(b)(3)(ii). In January 2008, appellant Citizens United, a nonprofit corporation, released a documentary (hereinafter Hillary) critical of then-Senator Hillary Clinton, a candidate for her party’s Presidential nomination. Anticipating that it would make Hillary available on cable television through video-on-demand within 30 days of primary elections, Citizens United produced television ads to run on broadcast and cable television. Concerned about possible civil and criminal penalties for violating §441b, it sought declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that (1) §441b is unconstitutional as applied to Hillary; and (2) BCRA’s disclaimer, disclosure, and reporting requirements, BCRA §§201 and 311, were unconstitutional as applied to Hillary and the ads.

READ MORE


The State of Maine requires government employees to pay a service fee to the local union that acts as their exclu sive bargaining agent even if those employees disagree with, and do not belong to, the union. This Court has held that, in principle, the government may require this kind of payment without violating the First Amendment. See, e.g., Railway Employes v. Hanson, 351 U. S. 225 (1956) (upholding such an arrangement as constitutional); Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U. S. 209 (1977) (same); Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Assn., 500 U. S. 507 (1991) (same). At the same time, the Court has considered the constitution ality of charging for various elements of such a fee, up holding the charging of some elements (e.g., those related to administering a collective-bargaining contract) while forbidding the charging of other elements (e.g., those related to political expenditures). Compare, e.g., Ellis v.

READ MORE


128 S.Ct. 2759 (2008) Jack DAVIS, Appellant, v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION.   No. 07-320. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued April 22, 2008. Decided June 26, 2008.*2765 Andrew D. Herman, for Appellant. Paul D. Clement, for Appellee. Thomasenia P. Duncan, David Kolker, Associate General Counsel, Kevin Deeley, Assistant General Counsel, Holly J. Baker, Claire N. Rajan, Washington, D.C., Paul D. Clement, Gregory G. Garre, Deputy Solicitor General, Malcolm L. Stewart, Assistant to the Solicitor General, Washington, D.C., for Appellee. Andrew D. Herman, Stanley M. Brand, Brand Law Group, PC, Washington, D.C., Elizabeth F. Getman, Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C., […]

READ MORE


At a school-sanctioned and school-supervised event, a high school principal saw some of her students unfurl a large banner conveying a message she reasonably regarded as promoting illegal drug use. Consistent with established school policy prohibiting such messages at school events, the principal directed the students to take down the banner. One student— among those who had brought the banner to the event—refused to do so. The principal confiscated the banner and later suspended the student. The Ninth Circuit held that the principal's actions violated the First Amendment, and that the student could sue the principal for damages.

READ MORE


(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2014 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY v. MACLEAN CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT No. […]

READ MORE


In this case, we decide whether the First Amendment allows a public-sector union to require objecting nonmem- bers to pay a special fee for the purpose of financing the union’s political and ideological activities.

READ MORE


Respondents, representing the video-game and software industries, filed a preenforcement challenge to a California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

READ MORE


It is a federal crime to “knowingly provid[e] material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” 18 U. S. C. §2339B(a)(1). The authority to designate an entity a “foreign terrorist organization” rests with the Secretary of State, and is subject to judicial review. Among the entities the Secretary of State has designated “foreign terrorist organization[s]” are the Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan (PKK) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which aim to establish independent states for, respectively, Kurds in Turkey and Tamils in Sri Lanka. Although both groups engage in political and humanitarian activities, each has also committed numerous terrorist attacks, some of which have harmed American citizens. Claiming they wish to support those groups’ lawful, nonviolent activities, two U. S. citizens and six domestic organizations (hereinafter plaintiffs) initiated this constitutional challenge to the material-support statute. Plaintiffs challenge §2339B’s prohibition on providing four types of material support—“training,” “expert advice or assistance,” “service,” and “personnel”—asserting violations of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause on the ground that the statutory terms are impermissibly vague, and violations of their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association.

READ MORE


Federal law banned the broadcasting of “any … indecent … language,” 18 U. S. C. §1464, which includes references to sexual or excretory activity or organs, see FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U. S. 726. Having first defined the prohibited speech in 1975, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a cautious, but gradually expanding, approach to enforcing the statutory prohibition. In 2004, the FCC’s Golden Globes Order declared for the first time that an expletive (nonliteral) use of the F-Word or the S-Word could be actionably indecent, even when the word is used only once. This case concerned isolated utterances of the F- and S-Words during two live broadcasts aired by Fox Television Stations, Inc. In its order upholding the indecency findings, the FCC, inter alia, stated that the Golden Globes Order eliminated any doubt that fleeting expletives could be actionable; declared that under the new policy, a lack of repetition weighs against a finding of indecency, but is not a safe harbor; and held that both broadcasts met the new test because one involved a literal description of excrement and both invoked the F-Word. The order did not impose sanctions for either broadcast. The Second Circuit set aside the agency action, declining to address the constitutionality of the FCC’s action but finding the FCC’s reasoning inadequate under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

READ MORE


1 2 3